Lots of surface activity
  |  First Published: April 2017

The east Australian currents are doing a great job this year by bringing the clear blue water in close, and with it come the pelagics and large bait schools.

There has been plenty of surface activity, with Spaniards and spotties going crazy, and some big wahoo being landed. There are a few longtails being caught as well, mostly on live baits meant for mackerel. Yellowfin ranging from 5-20kg have been taking lures at North Solitary Island. They go well on skirts but I like using Halco Laser Pro 190s in the white red head or the red neck. We troll three to four lures at once, and often get multiple hook-ups. All hell breaks loose when that happens, with people running to stop crossovers with lines, as it’s the first few seconds that make or break it.

The FAD has been doing well for mahimahi and also wahoo. If you don’t know where it is, look on the FAD website or call into our shop and we’ll help you out.

We have two islands off Wooli – North Solitary, which is the bigger island, and North West Rock. They’re about 13km out, and you can see them from the break wall at Wooli. There are a few snapper showing up but it’s still a bit early. Some good fish have been caught while live baiting for mackerel; snapper love a live slimy or yakka. If you’re live baiting for mackerel and you have small slimies, use only one hook just under the dorsal fin and not too deep into the fish. If you have a large slimy or pike, use a double hook rig, with one hook just forward of the dorsal fin and the second hook under the rear dorsal fin.

When trolling for mackerel we use either 4/0 or 5/0 Black Magic KS hooks, or their Teflon-coated DX hooks. When live baiting we use 44lb Halco single-strand. Don’t set your drags too tight as they will go straight through the wire and you will lose the fish.

When trolling for mackerel it’s better to up to 105lb single strand. Put one hook under the bait’s chin and through the clear spot in the top of his nose, and one hook trailing just behind its tail. Some people use a treble in about a 1/0 or 2/0.

Catching mackerel with plastics is awesome as well, and we’ve been having fun using 7” ZMans in glow and smokey shad, 7” Gulps in pearl white and anchovy, and 5” Samaki Boom Baits in ghost bait colour.

The Wooli locals have been catching plenty of tailor up to 4kg off the beach and break walls, mostly on spinners. Soon the bream and the blackfish will be running, and plenty will be caught in the river. I recommend trying artificial weed for blackfish, either store-bought or made yourself. I’m happy to show you how to make them.

Call into our tackle shop at 43 Riverside Dr, Wooli and we’ll help you with rigs, knots and more. Our charter business has two boats, Erebus (11m Steber) and the Kraken (12m cat), both purpose built for chartering. If you want a fun day out give us a call on (02) 6649 7100 and talk to Stan or Claire. We also provide accommodation overlooking the Wooli River. After having breakfast overlooking the river, you just walk 50m and you’re on the boat. We supply sandwiches, tea, coffee, soft drinks, all tackle including rods and reels, and ice for your fish. All you need to bring is an esky to take home your catch.

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